Aileen LeBlanc

News Director

Aileen LeBlanc is a journalist, producer and director whose work in television, film and public radio has earned more than 60 regional and national awards.

She is producer/director of the documentaries Dayton Codebreakers (nominated for 3 regional Emmys) and Who’s Minding the Planet? (nominated for a Regional Emmy). Her latest film, Take Us Home, about Ethiopian Jews, is now in the festival circuit and has won the World Cinema Documentary Film Editing Award from the Amsterdam Film Festival and Award of Merit from the Lucerne International Film Festival. The film has screened at the Pan African Film Festival and the Studio City Festival in LA and the Sheba Festival in New York. Other official selections include Denver, Philadelphia, Louisville, Palm Beach and Detroit.

LeBlanc’s work on other films includes the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Last Truck” and the Emmy-winning “Lion in the House.”

LeBlanc’s career in journalism includes two news director positions at WYSO and WHQR. Her national work has been featured on NPR, Voice of America, BBC, Monitor Radio, Pacifica and the CBC.

She was honored by the Dayton League of Women Voters with a “Making Democracy Work Award.” She was given the first place prize in documentary from Public Radio News Directors Inc. for a piece on loving and caring for a partner with Alzheimer's.

Ways to Connect

KMUW

Wichita Eagle publisher and president Roy Heatherly is leaving the company as part of a larger restructuring by the McClatchy Co.

Tony Berg, regional publisher for McClatchy's Midwest Division, announced Monday that Heatherly's last day will be May 5. Heatherly joined The Eagle in June 2015, returning to Wichita after a 37-year absence.

Berg said he will hire a general manager to lead The Eagle and its sales operations.

There's a match going on, but this one is to help raise money for wildfire relief after more than a million and a half acres of crop and ranch land that was burned in four states.

Wildfires raged through parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas last month leaving cattle and other livestock dead and burning farmland and fences.

Howard Buffet, a philanthropist, farmer and rancher, has promised matching dollars up to a million for wildfirerelieffund.org.

frankieleon, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has received a grant for over $3.1 million to use in the treatment and prevention of opioid abuse.

Eighty percent of the grant money will be used for treatment and recovery and 20 percent for prevention, intervention and public education.

KDADS reports that Kansas is the 16th highest opioid prescribing state in the country. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says that between 2013 and 2015, deaths from opioid overdose increased 28 percent and deaths from heroin use went up by 71 percent.

kdhe.gov

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has released a preliminary report on abortions in Kansas.

According to Kansas state law, providers of abortion services must keep records and provide them to KDHE. The Women's Right To Know Act requires that certain information is given to those who seek abortions, as well as a report to KDHE about the number of informed consents.

Adam Moss / Flickr Creative Commons

President Trump's proposed budget includes cuts to the Department of Transportation (DOT), which could mean the loss of Amtrak service for some Kansas cities.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday at the Hesston Mennonite Church for Michael J. Sharp. Sharp was killed last month in the Democratic Republic of Congo while working there to convince people that violence is not a solution.

Sharp, called MJ by his friends, was killed in March during an investigative mission for the United Nations. He is survived by his mother and father, who live in Hesston, Kansas.

"We have hope that peaceful solutions work," says friend Tim Huber. "They may not be easy, they may not be quick, but they do work."

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Local and national media watched as returns came in during Tuesday night's election. A surprise strong showing for the Democratic candidate may signify a slight shift in a traditionally Republican state.

Patrick Emerson, flickr Creative Commons

Nebraska has limited legal options regarding the smoke carried into the state from Kansas ranchers who annually burn tallgrass prairie, a Lincoln attorney said.

A group of ranchers in Kansas' Flint Hills burned around 2.3 million acres of North America's largest unplowed stretch of tallgrass prairie Saturday. The burning led to complaints from neighbors in Nebraska due to winds carrying the smoke into the state, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

wichita.edu

Updated Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law officially tying together Wichita State University and Wichita Area Technical College (WATC).

A signing ceremony was held Wednesday at the Experiential Engineering Building on the WSU campus.

WATC will remain a separate legal entity and will be called the WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology.

City of Wichita

The city of Wichita has issued its first ozone alert of the year. The precautions and warnings are for Tuesday, April 11.

Current atmospheric conditions indicate high ozone levels.

Ozone is a harmful air pollutant. Heat and sunlight “bake” the emissions from vehicles, mowers, energy production and industries forming ozone.

High ozone levels are potentially unhealthy for youth, seniors, people with respiratory disease like asthma or emphysema, adults who spend prolonged time outdoors and others identified as members of sensitive groups.

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